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2/2: Speak Out on the Recession in Massachusetts
by Matthew Williams
Email: third_aardvark (nospam) hotmail.com
03 Feb 2002
Modified: 04 Feb 2002
As activists gathered in New York City to protest the World Economic Forum, people gathered at Faneuil Hall to speak about the impact corporate globalization and the recession were having in Massachusetts. The unifying theme of all the testimonies was the eroding conditions of life for working people.
Speak Out on the Recession in Massachusetts
by Matthew Williams
02/02/02; Boston, MA--As activists gathered in New York City to protest the World Economic Forum, people gathered at Faneuil Hall to speak about the impact corporate globalization and the recession were having in Massachusetts. A number of working people told moving stories of their struggles to survive in the face of lay-offs and homelessness. As Elaine Bernard, Director of the Harvard Trade Union Program, said, “These people are the experts because they are the public.” A panel of community leaders then commented on their testimony, putting it in the bigger picture. As Juliet Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College, said, “The unifying theme of all these testimonies is the eroding conditions of life for working people.”
The working people who spoke gave a human face to the various grim statistics that we can list about the global economy. Two million people around the world have to live on less than $2.00 a day. GE-worker Pete Capano spoke of what such poverty actually looks like. As part of a labor delegation, he saw the horrifying living conditions that the Mexican maquilladora workers have to live in--shacks for houses, their children with no place to play but in the garbage. Social service workers spoke of having to lay off staff and roll back services as their budgets were cut. Ken Ramsey, a welfare worker in the state Department of Transitional Assistance, said that the case loads were so high--256 families or more per worker--that they could only devote 32 minutes per month to each family receiving food stamps. And as conditions have gotten worse for working people, the rich have gotten richer--the top 1% of the population now has more wealth than the bottom 90%. Christopher Atwood, a flight attendant, and Gary Nilsson, a worker at Lucent Technologies, spoke of corporate executives making out like bandits while they laid off massive numbers of workers.
Sharon McCollum, a Board member of the Massachusetts Nurses’ Association, said, “Current economic policies are tearing apart the fabric of our society’s health, educational and social safety nets. There are large numbers of people who will suffer greatly if we continue in the current way.”
People clearly knew who to point the finger of blame at. They repeatedly attacked the corporate executives and the politicians who catered to them. To loud applause, community organizer and Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner said, “Who are the real terrorists who threaten the people of this country? At the top of my list is the economic oligarchy who use their power to oppress workers. And they couldn’t do it if the Republicrats didn’t pass the laws that make it possible.”
Greetings were sent to the speak-out by John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, from the New York City protests against the World Economic Forum--a global gathering of corporate and national “leaders”, charting where globalization will take all of us. Greetings were also sent from the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil where grassroots activists from around the world are gathering to develop visions of alternatives to corporate globalization. Their motto is, “Another World is Possible.”
Bernard said that in envisioning this new world, we need to ask, “What type of community are we and what type of community do we want to be? What do we desire for ourselves and what do we demand for all? Not how can we serve the economy, but can we make the economy work for our communities?”
For more information on the speak-out’s organizer, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, see http://www.massjwj.net. For more information on the protests against the World Economic Form, see the New York City Independent Media Center: http://nyc.indymedia.org. For more information on the World Social Forum, see: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/eng/index.asp.
Obstruction of Justice vs Lawful Democracy
by Jon Chance
jpchance (nospam) egroups.com (unverified)
04 Feb 2002
I wonder why a public citizen such as myself was unlawfully obstructed from entering this public meeting by the "Municipal Police" with the complicity of a certain individual who works with "Jobs With Justice"? (Under investigation.)
Anyway, simple alternatives to corporate-state totalitarianism are developing worldwide. Here is one example called the TEA (time-energy accounting) currency:
The function of the time-energy accounting system, 100% backed by human time and renewable energy, is to
1. Administer a lawful citizens’ currency.
2. Strengthen the liberties and responsibilities of individual citizens and local communities.
3. Minimize the centralization of power.
4. Balance competition and cooperation in the marketplace.
5. Minimize public and private bureaucracy.
6. Maximize efficient and equitable utilization of natural resources.
7. Eliminate the need for personal income tax.
8. Minimize the need for any taxation.
9. Minimize corporate-government racketeering.
10. Stabilize the money supply and price level.
11. Restore full-reserve banking.
12. Remove the primary cause of economic inflation, deflation, recessions, depressions, warfare and waste of resources.
13. Enhance life, liberty and tranquility for all.
The time-energy accounting (TEA) network issues:
1. citizens dividends backed by human lifetime ($1 = one hour = $730 per month) plus
2. energy dividends backed by harvested renewable energy ($1 = one kilowatt-hour).
Each time-energy dollar is valid for one year from the month of issuance, then "self-redeems" or "extinguishes" itself like an expiring coupon.
The sooner participants circulate or invest each time-energy dollar, the more value the dollar has, since it represents time-energy value for only one year.
Savings are channeled to useful investments in renewable energy infrastructure rather than paper money, precious metals, or other "barren" (non-renewable) commodities.
Renewable energy investments produce real dividends (not interest) in the universal metric of kilowatt-hours measured by ordinary energy meters.
Human lifetime is itself a natural dividend in the universal metric of hours measured by ordinary clocks (unless you endorse slavery).
Participants are issued citizens dividends once they are 18 or over so that parents will not be encouraged to over-populate for money.
Who can reasonably deny that our lifetime is our most valuable asset?
Who can reasonably deny that benign renewable energy is the foundation of a sustainable civilization?
Among other things, renewable energy can desalinate our oceans to produce abundant fresh water.
The issuing of time-energy dollars is performed by elected municipal treasurers and their staff. No electronic or other non-manual vote tabulation is permitted.
Confederated / cooperative municipal treasuries co-audit each other on a randomly selected basis every three months.
Time + Energy = Wealth.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
--- Pradeep wrote:
> Jan 22/02
> Dear Sir,
> Please clarify how people who depend on earnings from the interest on their investments will be able to manage under LETS or Community Currencies or Mutual Credit systems because in these systems there is no provision of interest income. Particularly the disabled or the retired people and senior citizens.
> Pradeep Desai
> Chennai, India
egroups.com/group/cea-usa - Citizens Administration.
antiwar.com - Like World Wars? Fight 'Em Yourself.
bfi.org - An Option For Success.
copvcia.com - Officer Ruppert vs The CIA.
homepower.com - Home-Made Power.
opensecrets.org - Who's Bribing Who?
transaction.net - Money: Where's It Come From?